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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Intermezzo: A Love Story aka "Intermezzo" [Blu-ray]


(Gregory Ratoff, 1939)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Selznick International Pictures

Video: Kino Lorber



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:09:50.936 

Disc Size: 21,759,298,579 bytes

Feature Size: 19,961,247,744 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.30 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 9th 2018



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps



English, None



• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Kat Ellinger
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:23) and 3 other trailers





Description: Legendary producer David O. Selznick (Duel in the Sun) made this eloquent, sensitive, and poignant heartbreaking drama - a remake of the 1936 Swedish film with the same title. Acting great Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca) reprised her role in this, her first English-speaking role, co-starring the equally great Leslie Howard (Of Human Bondage). Renowned violinist Holger Brandt (Howard) is delighted to be back with his family after a long tour. But when he meets his daughter's piano teacher, Anita (Bergman), and hears her play, he is captivated. Despite the devastating toll on his family, Holger and Anita begin a musical partnership that quickly becomes a passionate romance. But are they meant to live in harmony forever... or is this merely an intermezzo? A tale that proves that music is indeed the food of love.



The Film:

Gregory Ratoff directed David O. Selznick's richly produced American remake of the Swedish film directed by Gustav Molander and starring Ingrid Bergman, who re-creates her role here. The story -- based on the original screenplay by Molander and Gosta Stevens -- concerns a love affair played out between famed concert violinist Holger Brandt (Leslie Howard) and a young pianist, Anita Hoffman (Ingrid Bergman). Holger has just finished a grand tour and has returned to his home country of Sweden, into the arms of his wife Margit (Edna Best) and two children, Ann Marie (Ann Todd) and Eric (Douglas Scott). But soon Holger falls deeply in love with his children's piano teacher Anita. Holger asks Margit for a divorce, but she demurs, telling Holger he should take time to think the whole thing through. Holger and Anita travel abroad, and Anita becomes acclaimed as a pianist -- but Holger keeps looking at other people's children and begins to wonder whether he should go back to his family.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

The film that introduced Ingrid Bergman to American audiences (1939), this love story tells of a married concert violinist (Leslie Howard) who falls in love with his beautiful protege. The picture is amazingly compact (70 minutes), and the swift pacing helps temper the goo. Director Gregory Ratoff scores one or two visual coups that are unique in his career (a reliable hack, he replaced William Wyler after a week's shooting), and Bergman's incipient star qualities flower under the careful hand of producer David O. Selznick, who went against Hollywood practice by letting her play with minimal makeup. The film is no classic, but it's a good example of its type: the many remakes include Jerry Schatzberg's Honeysuckle Rose.

Excerpt from The Chicago Reader located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Intermezzo looks fairly rich and consistent in 1080P.  It has a max'ed out bitrate for the relatively short feature. Contrast is nicely layered and the source only has a few light vertical scratches. The film's grain is prevalent but can look a shade blocky/noisy at times. I thought the presentation was very pleasing. This Blu-ray is solid in terms of image quality for a film made in the 1930's.























Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1556 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are no demonstrative effects in the film - it's all the music and dialogue. The uncredited score is by Robert Russell Bennett (1939's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, A Damsel in Distress) and the iconic Max Steiner (Sergeant York, Key Largo, Casablanca, The Caine Mutiny, Bird of Paradise, Beyond the Forest, Pursued etc. etc.) (Since You Went Away,) plus Heinz Provost's Intermezzo played frequently throughout the film, Christian Sinding's Rustles Of Spring [Fruhlingsrauschen] Op.32 No.3, Tchaikovsky's None But the Lonely Heart (Nur Wer die Sehnsucht Kennt) and Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A op 16. It sounded quite solid for a 1930's film with the piano and violin sounding particularly impressive in the lossless. The dialogue was clear and audible. There are optional English subtitles (see sample above) offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

I was privileged to enjoy another Kat Ellinger commentary. She covers plenty of, well-researched, details including the music, performers and analysis of the story's more subtle themes. It adds significant value to this package. There is also a trailer for Intermezzo and three other film trailers.



I had seen Intermezzo a couple of decades ago. The film has a wonderful, weepie, love affair with a young, radiant Ingrid Bergman plus Gregg Toland's impressive cinematography and sports a sophisticated, and beautiful, score. It's worthy of its high praise. The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray presents this, entertaining, gem in 1080P - and has a rewarding commentary. Although notably a short feature we can still fully recommend!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 33% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

January 2nd, 2018



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